Farmers have three one-time opportunities coming up under the 2014 Farm Bill, said Henry English, head of the Small Farm Program at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
Feb. 27 is the deadline to retain or update payment yields and to retain or reallocate base acres. March 31 is the deadline for farmers and share-rent landowners to sign up for one of three farm programs that will determine program payments through 2018 – Agricultural Risk Coverage - County (ARC-CO), Agricultural Risk Coverage – Individual (ARC-IC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC).
ARC-CO is revenue-based assistance using county average yields and national average prices; PLC is fixed-price, deficiency payment program when the national average is below statutory reference price; and ARC-IC is revenue based, but it uses the individual farm’s yields and national average price.
Online tools are available to help farmers make these one-time and irrevocable decisions, says Dr. English, whose staff of Extension associates is available to help farmers use these tools to make their decisions. By plugging in their specific information, growers can get yield update estimates, base reallocation distribution and program payment estimates.
Growers can download the tool at http://farmbilltoolbox.farm.doc.illinois.edu or search “Farm Bill Toolbox” to help with decision-making.
Farmers needing help in using the tools can contact UAPB Small Farm Program Extension associates for a one-on-one session. Those in the Jefferson County area can contact the Small Farm Office at (870) 575-7246. Growers in Phillips County should contact Arlanda Jacobs at (870) 714-5531 and those in the St. Francis County area should contact Alex Cole at (870) 630-2005.